After Chelsea’s last gasp winner against Everton last night, it looks like the holders will be back in the final next month, and with the second semi starting tonight, and being a repeat of last season’s, this competition has a familiar look to it.
And it is our hope that the familiarity continues tonight, with another victory over a Spurs side who have shown signs of improvement in recent times.
The most notable piece of squad news is the extended absence of Lassana Diarra. As a regular in the Carling Cup team, his axing at the weekend combined with his name not appearing in tonight’s sixteen begs the question of when, rather than if, he is leaving. The only alternative is that he’s being punished to see how he reacts.
Realistically though, it seems he may have played his last game for us, after only a few months at the club. I’d be happier if he moved to France rather than for Newcastle or Spurs, he’d strengthen either of those clubs and that wouldn’t be in our best interests.
As for the game itself, I have a strange feeling that this is where we might finally come unstuck against Spurs. It has to happen at some point, although with Wenger playing a stronger side than at Blackburn, with experience probably coming from the bench, he will at least have options if the match starts to head the wrong way.
Spurs will score a couple in the tie, they’re too good up front not to, but their defence is also too weak to prevent us scoring, so it could be an entertaining semi final. A draw wouldn’t surprise me tonight.
So here’s my prediction – an exciting 2-2 draw, leaving it all open for the second leg.